My Reading Resolution for 2021

The year had started and I wanted to do something other than talking about sanitisers and masks or find that elusive work-life balance which has become a victim of the work-from-home. I wanted to get back to doing things that I had enjoyed in another life (or so it seems). As I was just reading through some of my favourite blogs, I came across some interesting reading lists; lists that had an amazing line-up. Just looking at those lists got me thinking – why don’t I make a list of my own? I mean what more can a bibliophile ask for, a complete set of selected books to read. Bliss!!

I had set targets on Goodreads for the number of books I wanted to read each year; and the last two years have seen not-worth-mentioning performances. I can blame it on many reasons starting with the home and kids and husband to the (mis)alignment of the stars! But the real reason I guess was, I was not too captivated or attracted to the books I was reading. I was just reading because I had to read. Like I was breathing to exist, not live. It did not incite interest or excitement, nor did it appeal to my sensibilities. So, this idea of making a reading list seemed quite interesting. Instead of focusing on the numbers, I get to focus on the kind of books I wanted to read. And that really got me kicked. It appeared ambitious at the time, and truly enviable too. I read through his list once again to see if I could find something interesting and I did. 

The Baby Steps

Now I was excited and wanting to start off. But every project needs a little groundwork, so I did mine. I revisited my personal favourites, from both fiction and non-fiction. I went through my collection of books. Some I hadn’t read in a while, some were testament of my having leafed through them more than once, some brought back memories of those days, in some I discovered some lost treasures like a dried up rose gifted by one of my students and a hastily made bookmark by my then 4-year old! No wonder they say books are a (wo)man’s best friend. I prepared a rough list of books I felt like reading, an arbitrary mix of old favourites, a few new genres or writers, a few new books by known authors. I mean it‘s a little bit of this and little bit of that, but it gradually metamorphosised into something overwhelming. I have my doubts if I will be able to do justice to them all but will never know until I start off. So here I go, hoping that the first resolution of the year meets with some amount of success.

My Plan Forward

What I think is going to work for me is a random selection. I plan to read at least one fiction and one non-fiction every month. Add to it one book by an Indian author (I’m quite partial to them especially Devdutt Pattanaik and Anand Neelkanthan). Don’t want to pack too much in or it would get too much to handle. Three to four books a month should be an achievable target for now (I confess I’m a slow reader, ruminating each word and sentence and situation and relishing it!). If the pace picks up and I’m able to fit in more, then it would be great. But what’s important right now is to start off. Revisiting the classics would be another great way of getting there. Some of my personal favourites are the Count of Monte Cristo, The Tale of Two Cities, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice (of course!), To Kill A Mocking Bird, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I’ve started the year with a memoir – A Promised Land by Barack Obama. It appears interesting and quite relevant keeping in mind the times. Last year I tried reading a few books from the South East Asian writers and I found them refreshing. Their perspectives and thought processes were quite different from the ones I’ve read. I guess it’s because most of the authors are either American or European. Anyways that’s another category I’m hoping to explore. So yes, I’ve a plan and I hope to stick to it.

Here’s wishing me good luck and happy reading! Join me and lets to do together.

Review of movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

Producers: Dharma Productions, Zee Studios

Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi

Written by: Nikhil Mehrotra, Sharan Sharma

The only good thing I see coming out of the present COVID – 19 scenario is that we all have to wear our masks and that includes Gunjan Saxena. It will protect her from answering embarrassing questions about the movie. It’s supposed to be a biopic of a strong willed, independent woman who broke through the glass ceiling again and again to prove to the world that women are equally capable. But what finally turned out for all to see was a total disaster. Instead of inspiring the girls, it created doubts about the regressive mindsets in the Armed Forces. If there was a bigger distortion to how the Armed Forces were depicted in the movies, then this one takes the first place. 

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Book Review: Suheldev – The King Who Saved India

The storyteller was at it again. If someone has been able to spin magic into our stories from long ago, then it’s Amish always. Suheldev – The King Who Saved India is the latest from his repertoire and set in the time much closer to our times. It’s the story of a brave warrior prince who comes into his own under compelling circumstances. From the brattish younger prince, he transforms into a leader who inspires people and unites them with their common love for the country of their birth, India. Read more

Travelling, Rambling, Reminiscing.

The sky was a pale pink with smudges of soft red and orange. A few traces of gold and blue highlighted the coming of another morning as the sun readied itself to make its grand entry. The breeze was soft and pleasing, almost like a gentle caress. Suddenly a tiny bright red head peeked from behind the wooly tuft of cloud. The colour of the cloud transformed from a weak, greyish white to something bright and incandescent, glowing from within as if going pink in its vain attempts to hold on to a secret, but of course with the grace of an ethereal beauty. This whole spectacle was reflected in the still waters of the creek. And it looked unbelievably surreal when a lone fisherman’s boat crossed the flaming red river of rays reflected in the waters. The sun continued to climb higher into the sky, searing the clouds with its blazing oranges and yellows. All this before I could even take the next sip from my cup of tea. How can so much happen in so little a time?

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Raavan – Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish

Stories steeped in mythology are my all time favourites and I won’t deny it. That’s the one main reason why I got hooked to Amish (and also some of the other Indian writers) in the first place. The completely different perspective, or way of looking at these mythological characters makes for a very interesting read, and of course makes us question the age-old, handed-down-the-generations versions. Ravaan is the third book in the series, after Ram and Sita.  For those who haven’t read the first two books, please read them before you start this one for better appreciation of the story line. Also this book review may have a few spoilers (though unintentional) so read it at your own risk.

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Game of Thrones – Book Vs the TV series

After successfully plowing through pages and pages of creative storytelling and political intrigues of places described so romantically that it left me happily confused as to where I wanted to go first, I thought I was done with it. Then started the hype about the beginning of the last season, Season 8. That got me even more excited. I mean it’s a dream come true to see on screen what I have been reading about, to be able to see in flesh and blood all those who I seem to be knowing pretty intimately (through the books, mind you), to be able to visit the places which I have seen in my mind. So though not much of a TV person, I decided to watch the series. And then it all started! Read more

Do you really want to watch these daily soaps and sitcoms?

When my injured shoulder left me with very few activity options (since moving the arm was excruciatingly painful), I decided to (mis)use my time doing something which is rarely on my to-do list. Watch TV. And by god, I still don’t know which was more painful – moving my arm or watching the daily soaps? Switching channels did not help as each one was out to outdo the other. I mean is it really this bad or am I missing something? And this kind of badgering is acceptable, I am told. Alas!

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